The Catalog of Carceral Surveillance: Monitoring Online Purchases of Inmates’ Family and Friends

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Cooper Quintin & Beryl Lipton

“Prison wardens and detention center administrators have, for years, faced what they believe to be a serious problem. While they can surveill every aspect of the lives of the people imprisoned in their facilities, they typically have no ability to violate the privacy and civil liberties of the friends and family of incarcerated people. Fortunately for prison administrators, Securus has a solution. Securus is one of the prison telecommunications companies notable for overcharging inmates for the privilege of communication with their loved ones. They have filed a patent application describing a method of ‘linking controlled-environment facility residents and associated non-resident telephone numbers to … e-commerce accounts associated with the captured telephone number’ and ‘information about purchases made by a non-resident associated with the accessed e-commerce account.'” (09/07/21)